At the throttle

Train Blog

May 8, 2016

OpsLog – LM&O – 8/3/2016

 promised I’d write this. As mentioned in our last thrilling adventure, the layout had gone down hard with electrical shorts knocking out the line from Calypso to Hellertown. Over the weekend (and right after this session – was I tired) we met at the club and figured out what the problem was (a broken turnout motor was the culprit). And so now we had a working layout and a half dozen trains blocking the main here and there. Kinda like if the rapture came and only locomotives went to heaven. So after a long day at work, after dinner and […]
April 27, 2016

OpsLog – LM&O – 4/27/2016

ell, several crews were out, some getting married, some at prom. The dispatcher was laced on painkillers. Just another night on the LM&O. Good turnout – always happy for that. A couple of guests got paired with crews. Me, I was running the Zanyesville makeup run. Last month this job didn’t get done and now it was twice is big as normal. So out of the yard I rumbled on warrant #1, direct to Zaynesville and the pile of work awaiting me. Wasn’t too bad, really. I just used my old tricks – sorting out cuts at the bottom of […]
April 23, 2016

OpsLog – L&N – 4/23/2016

ee, so, sometimes, I’m a sweetheart. I don’t tell about truly embarrassing stories, even when there is a fiery train wreck. I don’t blog out nice people. Regardless of the burning of Ramsey, the smoke of whose burning cast down despair among the people of Tennessee, we had a great ops session. I got to run the L&N DS panel, the hot seat of the whole railroad. My pal Ken Farnham ran the Southern board, sitting across from me. Even though it was his first time under warrants, he kept his end of the railroad moving and we hardly had […]
April 9, 2016

ShowLog – Deland – 4/9/2016

ell, it might be the end of our Deland Shows – we’re not sure at this point. We’ve been told that the fairgrounds is boosting their building rentals by 1003% and the train show is passing their butt-kicking on to us. So we’re not sure if we’ll be out there in July. Hard to say when we started doing Deland – back then we were hoisting our splintery N-trak modules in on our backs and taking ten hours (or more) to get the chaotically-wired monster running (honestly, it looked like the North Korea Model Railroad club at times). Here is […]
March 26, 2016

OpsLog – FEC – 3/26/2016

ometimes you have ops sessions that make you want to slink away and take up stamp collecting… But…. Sometimes you have ops that you want to lacquer up and hang on the wall, and just lean back in your easy chair and look at them, preferably smoking a big fat cigar. Yeah, today’s run of the FEC was one of those days. Man, did we have fun! I ran the panel and was feeling so comfortable with it, I wasn’t looking at the in-out cheat-sheet, but actually working the yard throat panel logically. We had everything moving including a rail […]
March 23, 2016

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/23/2016

e’re going to have to start throwing random events in. It went too well. Oh, I know that there are always derailments and issues. The random car spotting has gotten crazy (Variety Press is getting all their unsold copies of Early ReTyrement back, it seems). But really, from the panel, it was a smooth night. We ran all the drag freights, most of the passengers and three of the four locals. Everyone came in and set up smooth. I fired up the computer and got the back office running. Had some guests show and put them on 202 – poor […]
March 16, 2016

MaintLog – Orlando NTrak – 3/6/2016

asn’t looking forward to this – started getting reports while in India (of all places) that the front porch of the train club was rotting away and needed replacement. Could there be something I’d want to do less that that? Okay, so great thanks are due to Bill Sterner, John Ligda and Bill White who all came out on a Sunday to work this. Our plans were to spend today getting as far as we could with demolition and see what a future rebuild effort would entail. First good luck – a few months ago I happened to find some […]
March 12, 2016

OpsLog – WBRR – 3/12/2016

staple of western drama (overblown western drama, indeed) is that of the misunderstood genius, one who dreams magnificently and throws himself into reaching efforts, only to suffer the destruction of his mad plans. In the end, he is left to croak in the ruins of his endeavors about how “it should have worked, the fools, the fools…!” Yes. Look, I know you can get three trains past on a single siding. I’ve done it in warrants, on CTC boards, and various forms of mother-may-I. It is a stock in trade maneuver on the L&N (where sidings are short and sharp […]
February 27, 2016

OpsLog – FEC – 2/27/2016

he Hindus have a little idea, how everyone who dies is resurrected. I can only hope this is true. If it is, in my next life, perhaps I’ll run that Cocoa switcher a little better than I did today. Just stupid blunders. I needed tanks, gons and a couple of boxcars for a train I was building. Tanks and gons were all scattered in the north yard – had to go cherrypicking. The boxes were in a neat little grouping one track away from where I’d construct the outbound turn. And it seemed like a good idea (at the time) […]
February 25, 2016

OpsLog – LM&O – 2/24/2016

o joke – when you go wheels up out of Delhi at 3am and touch down in Orlando at 8pm the same day, you’ve either got a really fast plane or you’re making up the time-in-flight adding in the time difference from flying halfway round the world, ten and a half hours in this case. That equates to twenty-seven hours in planes and airports, all during the longest day in your life. And yes, you’ll have jetlag like you won’t believe following this. Somehow I made it in to work Monday for our most important audit we face every two […]